Teenager killed in fall from rope swing

A 15-year-old boy has died after falling from a rope swing attached to a tree at his local park.

Joseph Biddle, from Halstead, was in Knole Park in Sevenoaks, Kent, when the horrific accident happened on 1 February 2009. He was with friends and was swinging on a rope tied to a tree when he fell.

Kent Air Ambulance and a road ambulance were sent to the scene but paramedics were unable to resuscitate the teenager, who had severe head injuries. A spokesman for the ambulance service said the boy was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident.

Joseph was a Year 11 student at Bennett Memorial School in Tunbridge Wells. In a tribute posted on the schools website, head teacher Ian Bauckham said: “The whole school community shared in the grief of josephs family. We offer our prayers especially for josephs parents and sister, and for all who will be touched by his untimely death, including his many friends here at Bennett.”

Knole Park is one of the few deer parks left in England and is privately owned. The National Trust runs a stately home situated in the grounds of the park

An inquest into Joseph’s death has been opened and adjourned.

This tragedy has occurred just months after another schoolboy was killed in Kent in a similar accident, calling for rope swings to be banned.

Cagney O’Brien died after plunging 20ft from a rope swing in Dover, Kent, on 25 September 2008. He was swinging from a rope tied to a tree when he fell. He sustained serious head injuries and died a few hours later at the William Harvey Hospital in Ashford.

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